Little kids love dinosaurs and my kids are no exception to that rule. So anytime I can bring a bit of dinosaur knowledge into their science lessons it’s a big hit. This time we looked at how did dinosaurs digest food?
This experiment can work equally well for birds or dinosaurs since it is theorized both have stones in their stomach to aid digestion and of course, this is a great zoology lesson.
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Materials needed to find out how dinosaurs digest their food
2 plastic bags* per kid (you really want the freezer bag because it’s thicker and more sturdy), a couple of handfuls of leaves, several small rocks, we also used our junior notebooking pages for Apologia Land Animals* and the Apologia Land Animals book*
Let find out how dinosaurs digest their food
While you spend a few minutes cleaning (or that’s my claim) send your kids outside to gather the materials from the backyard. Where I’m sure they did not spend all their time balancing on boards from their swings……… Eventually, they’ll wander back in and have to go back outside because they actually forgot the rocks and leaves.
It really is a wonder I didn’t have more ER trips than I did when my kids were little because sights like this were not uncommon.
Create two bags, one bag has a handful of small rocks and leaves. In the other bag just put the leaves.
Then spend 10 minutes kneading each bag. It is obviously best to do this while leaning back in your chair with your feet up on the desk. Or so claims Batman. He also claims to never need a shirt…… [Future Ticia here, this is why I instituted the rule: if you’ve left your room you must wear a shirt]
At the end compare your two bags. If you haven’t cheated at all, then the one with the rocks in it should be more mashed up and destroyed-looking. Two of my kids that was the case, and we couldn’t really figure out why it didn’t work like that for the third. Our best guess was the rocks she chose were ridiculously small and smooth. Best guess though.
Here are Superman’s observations: It’s hard to chew with no rocks. It is big. It’s hard with lots of leaves.
IN all seriousness, playful tone of post aside (note to self, writing while tired may not be the best decision, [Future Ticia here, I haven’t learned this lesson years in the future]), this had some real procedure behind this.
We stopped and looked at the difference between a control (no rocks) and an experiment (with rocks). We did not all get the same results. Rarely do true experiments give the exact same results because of human error. If you measure a chemistry project wrong it won’t work.
Princess discovered her project did not get the desired results because she did not follow directions. Superman learned not to overfill and being silly can backfire. Batman learned Mommy gets annoyed if you don’t wear shirts, but that’s aside from the subject.
The science behind how dinosaurs digest their food
Dinosaurs digest their food using a gizzard (or so paleontologists theorize). A gizzard is the same item that birds use to help digest their food. In the gizzard, the dinosaur has some rocks that tumble about and help the dinosaur with digestion.
More dinosaur learning
As I came in to update this post, I realized this was actually part of a few dinosaur projects we were doing, and I should probably add those in here in case you too are learning about dinosaurs:
- Cookie Dinosaur Dig- what! This is not a post? all right, make chocolate chip cookies or bonus use chocolate chip with M&M cookies and use toothpicks to excavate the chocolate chips and M&Ms
- Sandbox Dinosaur Dig- bury dinosaurs in the sandbox, or “bones”, many sandboxes now have pretend dinosaur skeletons
- Dinosaur Dig Kit
- Pasta Dinosaur Dig (yes, we did three different dinosaur digs over the years)
- Dinosaur booklist
- Danny and the Dinosaur
- Preschool Dinosaur Unit
Let’s see what science other people did this week:
Each week I’m spotlighting a few posts that were shared previously. Many posts get linked up later in the week and they don’t always get as many clicks as they deserve (on my now defunct Science Sunday linkie), so I’m trying to spotlight a few every week.
- Over at Live and Learn Farm she shared two posts about compasses, the second one is about orienteering, and it’s a great idea to incorporate into your nature study. The first is how to make a compass.
- The Tiger Chronicle shared the Italian Disaster, all about the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. I love cross-subject learning, so this made me happy. Even happier (and insanely jealous when she WENT to Pompeii!).
- The Homeschool Scientist shared the different types of clouds (Future Ticia 2023 says that post has been deleted, sadly). I’m also featuring her because if you don’t know she has a great blog for people interested in science, and this week has a bunch of giveaways ending TODAY! (but a few I don’t want you to enter because I want to win).